: External drive not being recognised by my Mini

Feb 27th, 2008, 10:48 AM
I have a Firewire 400/USB 2.0 drive that I use to back up my MacBook Pro using TimeMachine. I also have some overflow files on there that I want to transfer to my Mini. When I plug it into my Mac Mini, Finder doesn't see it. I plug it into my MBP, no problems. I tried with both USB and FW. I tried restarting my Mini with the drive connected. No dice.

Is this an issue with Time Machine? Perhaps the drive is somehow associated with my MBP and not recognised by other Macs? Doesn't seem plausible but I can't figure out any other reason for this.

Any advice?

Feb 27th, 2008, 11:31 AM
I experienced the same issue with a Macally 2.5" drive about a year ago. I was told it was likely due to a corrupt IO kext extension at the system level. The fix was either to replace the kext file with a backed up one or perform a clean install of the operating system. I chose the latter.

Feb 27th, 2008, 01:18 PM
Try shutting down and un-plugging both the mini and the external. Plug in and start-up the mini. Plug in the external and hook it to the mini via FireWire. If it does not mount in a reasonable time (say 2 minutes), go into disk utility and see if it recognizes the external. Frequently just opening disk utility is enough to make the connection.

Nowadays the most frequent cause of this issue is disconnecting the external before spotlight finishes indexing. With a large external, indexing can take a looooong time, especially if there have been a lot of changes.

Please Apple at least give us the option of turning off content indexing without killing the rest of the search abilities.

Feb 27th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Are you connecting directly your mini? Mine doesn't work when I use the usb on my apple keyboard but works when I plug directly into my mini. Just a thought.

Feb 27th, 2008, 03:56 PM
I just had a similar issue where my iMac wouldn't see my 1.2TB LaCie external drive. It ended up being an unplugged powered firewire hub. Once the power was back on the hub all was good.

Feb 27th, 2008, 07:48 PM
It sounds like a similar problem I had with my Western Digital MyBook (1TB, FW400, eSATA, USB 2,0).

My issues began only after updating my system to Leopard.

It turns out that the WD MyBook has a compatibility issue with Leopard.
It sounds like this may not be unique to WD.

WD has released a firmware update to address the Leopard compatibility issues.
I would suggest that you check to see if there is a firmware update for your device.

In addition the the firmware update, WD also reports a known issue with the firewire bus & Leopard. The WD Support site reports...
"This issue is caused by the drive enumeration process related to iMac FireWire data bus identification process."

Has anyone else experienced problems with Leopard external firewire hard drives?

Jul 8th, 2008, 01:50 PM
Yes, I've got the same behaviour happening -- need to reboot to see external drives under Leopard. First noticed it on a new FireWire MyBook, but it also seems to have affected an old USB drive.

Anybody had any progress on this?

Jul 8th, 2008, 02:32 PM
I hotswap three USB/FW drives on a regular basis to my Leopard MBP, and have no problems.

Jul 8th, 2008, 03:20 PM
Is it a G4 Mac Mini?

I can't remember which chipset it was - but there are some external cases that will dead stop not work with the G4 Mini.

Jul 8th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Mine's a MacBook with a My Book Studio Edition 500 gig and a Maxtor OneTouch. Running the Western Digital firmware updater may have fixed the My Book problems, but still need to reboot to see the Maxtor. (It's worked fine for years now.)

Jul 8th, 2008, 04:34 PM
I've got two MyBook FW drives (different editions) and they work fine. The drivers for them only change their ability to be dismounted by powering down (if they have on-off buttons, some do some don't) and sleeping functionality.

I'm told there are some models that don't support booting on the Mac, but have not encountered that (my newer Home Edition MyBook boots from FW just fine).

Jul 8th, 2008, 04:45 PM
I'm told there are some models that don't support booting on the Mac, but have not encountered that (my newer Home Edition MyBook boots from FW just fine).

I've got three MyBook drives (two USB, one FireWire) and I had to change the partition table on the USB drives to get 'em to act as boot drives on my Intel Macs. Maybe that's the incompatibility you heard about (i.e., they don't work out of the box)?

Jul 9th, 2008, 01:23 PM
Update: both my FireWire and USB external drives aren't plug-and-play under Leopard.